The latest regular event at SHE, The BackSeat (2nd and last Wednesday of the month) is bringing soul, electro, rhythm and blues, "make out music" to the girls.
We asked promoters Maxie and Bridget a few little questions...
How long have you been running LGBT events and events generally?
Maxie: I am part of a musical collective called Gravy, with whom I have been putting on gigs (mainly in Norwich) for around 7 years.
I organised the First Ladyfest in Norwich, and have been involved in various festivals and nights there.. Gravy is about to embark on a LDN campaign so watch out!
I met Bridget when she was DJing soul records at our friends party so it's always been a big part of our relationship - getting drunk and playing records all night.
We had a DJ night in Norwich called 'Get Ravey' which was a similar concept to The Backseat - perhaps a bit more commercial - but the gay scene in Norwich isn't that solid, we were keen to get involved in SHE Soho as soon as we moved here.
What was your first event?
Maxie: The first Backseat was in March I think - the first event we were involved in together was Ladyfest Norwich. I made a zine and Bridget wrote a brilliant piece about Gertrude Stein as the main feature.
How do you see that the Lesbian/Bi/Queer scene in London has changed?
Bridget: I think it's perhaps more alternative. We really love the Twat Boutique and Saturday Night Fish Fry nights, and obviously Chick Habit. It's great that there's these nights that play brilliant music and they're queer because they're comfortable and positive.
How have you adapted to these changes?
Maxie: We want to offer something that you can't get anywhere else! Everyone loves Motown, and some of the old soul tracks that Bridget plays are so fun to dance to, and so sexy. So we're taking the new eclecticism or alternative scene in a new direction - trying to offer something that encourages grinding and making out, maybe a few slow numbers, but still lots of music with integrity...
What regular events do you currently run & how long have it/they been running? What makes it/them different from other events on the scene?
Bridget: LGBT-wise? Just The Backseat at the moment as we have both been completing academic projects. Maxie always does Gravy which is heavy guitar based stuff, and both of our jobs involve events co-ordination so it's something that we're always working on.
We're suckers for concepts, so although we're both crazy busy all of the time, if we like an idea, we have to run with it! We only do nights that are different. In Norwich Get Ravey was the only alternative queer dance party. The Backseat is the only queer motown / soul / sexy night that I know of... The Nitty Gritty is brilliant, but we probably stray away from soul more than them. Our musical rules are just 'sexy all the time'.
Do your various events attract a similar profile of Lesbians or a range?
Maxie: A range - all ages too.. I think because you just have to have a slight taste for vintage music to dig The Backseat, that includes a lot of people. Motown, soul, sexy pop music - you've just got to like music generally to like those genres.
What are your current challenges?
To spread the word - we both have full time jobs and are completing academic projects, so although The Backseat is growing, we don't have the time we'd like to put into it.
How much does the increased use of Social Media (Facebook/Twitter) affect you (i.e. instant access to customers, public feedback)?
Maxie: We've tried hard not to rely on social media too much (because of the style of the night - pretty vintage), we want it to grow quite organically. But I think that will change soon - these days it's stupid not to take full advantage of these communication opportunities. We've got a Facebook and Twitter, so we're building them (slowly!).
What has been the highlight of your ‘event career’ so far?
There's nothing better than making people dance! But it's nice to get involved with everyone at SHE - collaborate and start to feel part of a gang..
We love intimate, sweaty, cavernous spaces, so it's always that moment when everyone's in there all close and having an awesome time - there's not one particular event.
What other events on the LBQ scene to you like to attend?
Chick Habit, we love Kaff in Brixton, Saturday Night Fish Fry, Queere, Supervixen
Do you have any exciting future plans you would like to share with us?
Maxie: Gravy is going to launch in London. Look out for that! And we'd like to do some more collaborative stuff with Amy Chick Habit.
To go along:
Venue: SHE Soho, 23a Old Compton Street
Tickets: £2 on the door
For more info...